Birds are fun little feathered creatures that can bring so much company and amusement to you and your home, but what bird should you get if you’ve never had one before?
Truth is, you can get any bird! Though before you go out buying an African grey, please read ahead to understand why it’s important to do your research before buying any type of bird!
As a quick note, I have written a similar blog on this before called ‘What to consider before buying or adopting a pet!’ so for additional information, search for this WattPad or WordPress blog on Google!
I included that animals are hard work in a variety of ways. They have specific diets, they can have different personalities such as calm or energetic and loud, they require lots of various and interesting toys, food, cleaning materials, vet bills etc. All of this can be pretty expensive! They also need different amounts of time and attention spent on them and they can also be very messy, which can also be expensive time-wise!
Let’s move on to some important things to know before buying a bird!
Why should you do research before buying any bird? Aren’t they all the same?
No! All birds have individual needs so it is extremely important for you to do the correct research in order to avoid accidental neglect!
What happens if you give them the wrong food?
There are various ways in which you can give birds the incorrect diet. Small birds such as lovebirds, budgies, cockatiels and canaries require smaller seeds whereas larger birds such as cockatoos, African greys and macaws require larger seeds.
They also need to be fed the correct amounts. Smaller birds don’t need to be fed too much, usually a bowl of seed and some fresh fruit or veg each day whereas cockatoos, African greys and macaws need to eat larger seeds and be fed more throughout the day. By researching the correct amount of food to give a bird you can avoid them becoming overweight! African grey parrots, budgies, lovebirds and quaker parrots are at higher risk of becoming overweight so be careful with these ones!
Don’t constantly feed them treats either! Their cute, round eyes may tempt you to hand over a few snacks, however by overfeeding them these treats, not only will you increase their risk of becoming overweight but you can also prevent them from eating their usual meals which results in them not getting the right amount of nutrition!
The last and most obvious point is to not feed them chocolate, salt and other foods that can be toxic to them. Make sure to research what food is toxic to birds including toxic plants that could be in your home that they may feel the urge to chew!
Don’t all birds use the same toys?
Toys definitely vary between birds regarding their size and their intelligence. Small birds need small toys whereas larger birds definitely need larger toys! By giving small birds big toys, it could be uncomfortable to them and if you give large birds small toys, they could potentially choke on any small objects that they can easily chew off with their strong beaks, so if you are thinking about getting a big bird, make sure that you have enough room for the larger toys and make sure that you can also afford them!
All birds need toys to stimulate their minds. Without interesting and stimulating toys, they can become bored which increases aggression including biting and screaming for attention, destructive behaviour to their cage and your home and aggressive behaviours towards themselves and other birds including feather-picking, which can result in skin problems and the lack of feathers.
Relating to stimulation, each bird also needs a certain amount of attention from you! Lovebirds and budgies love to interact and play with their owners but are also completely content with chilling on their own, but birds such as cockatiels, cockatoos, African greys and macaws will need much more attention.
On a slightly unrelated note, each bird has their own, as I like to call it, ‘scream-volume’. Canaries and budgies are a popular choice for those who prefer a quieter home whereas cockatoos, cockatiels, African greys and macaws can be much noisier and more talkative. Lovebirds are a mix as at times they can be very loud especially if they hear other birds nearby but they can also have their silent and calm moments!
Relating to feather-picking, there are a number of reasons as to why a bird may pluck their feathers or other bird’s feathers.
-Boredom: As I have mentioned, birds NEED the right stimulating toys or they will find more fun in plucking their feathers and throwing them everywhere!
-Sexual maturity: Sexual maturity can cause birds to become aggressive which may cause them to begin plucking their feathers.
-Stress: Stress can come from a variety of reasons, whether it is the ones we have already covered such as boredom and sexual maturity or because there have been changes to a home such as a new pet that may be irritating them or a change of home altogether!
-Heat/humidity: Birds are relatively clever when it comes to keeping heat in and out of their bodies depending on the weather. Their usual technique is to fluff up their feathers but unfortunately these techniques sometimes also involve feather-pulling in order to keep cool. To avoid this, make sure your bird has enough cold water and enough fresh, cold air during hot days!
-Nesting behaviour during nesting seasons: Birds, particularly female birds, tend to pull their feathers during nesting season as a way to have more materials for their nest.
Birds may also pull their feathers if their cage is dirty and/or they’re on the wrong diet and not getting the right amount of nutrition.
Birds that are more prone to feather-picking include African greys, cockatoos, cockatiels, macaws and conures.
When getting a bird, you also need to consider how much space you have for a cage!
Small birds cope well in small but spacious cages but cockatoos, macaws, African greys, cockatiels and other larger birds will need much bigger cages!
Regarding this, specific groups of birds need differing amounts of time outside their cage. Canaries, lovebirds and budgies don’t need a huge amount of time out of their cage, a few hours at most, but cockatoos, cockatiels, African greys and other birds will need much more time out of their cage, so keep this in mind too!
As for cleaning materials, you can use a small variety of products such as newspaper, paper towels and sand. Some people used gravel cat litter which is a lot safer than wooden cat litter as it doesn’t become mushy and is safer than wooden cat litter, however it is advised to be careful when using gravel cat litter as it could still harm your bird if they ingest it, especially smaller birds who love to chew everything they’re not supposed to, especially younger birds.
So to sum everything up, you can get any bird you wish but there are definitely a few points to consider before buying a certain type of bird.
-What type of diet does your bird require? Make sure you research this to avoid your bird lacking nutrition or becoming overweight!
-What type of toys does your bird need? Make sure the toy is the right size and depending on the intelligence of the bird (e.g. cockatoos have the brains of 4-5 year olds!), make sure that the toys are fun and interesting for them!
-How much attention does the bird need? Are you able to spend that specific amount of time with them?
-Can you cope with the noise levels of the bird?
-Make sure you understand the reasons for feather-picking and how some reasons may be a result of accidental neglect.
-Do you have enough room for the size of cage that they need? Are you able to let them out of the cage for the exact amount of time they need to be out?
-Can you afford everything that comes with a bird, which includes food, toys, cleaning materials, vet bills etc?
*For more information, make sure to check out my other WattPad and WordPress blog ‘What to consider before buying or adopting a pet!’ by searching it on Google!*